CacheCrazy.Com: Why Not Wednesday - Spontaneous Geocaching Adventure Gone Bad!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why Not Wednesday - Spontaneous Geocaching Adventure Gone Bad!

Geocaching is fun and exciting for many families as read in the logs but, it's not always that great day afield! Some days simply suck. Nothing goes right and you ask yourself, "what the hell am I doing?" Our friend Shell from LoveMyGuinness shares somewhat of a similar experience. Let's join her as she tells a story of a day that I think we can all relate to.


OH, and don't forget to wish Shell a Happy Birthday today in the comments! Happy Birthday Shell. from your friends at CacheCrazy.Com

Yesterday started out great. We all woke up, got dressed and went out. I even put some effort into straightening my hair, put on a nice sweater, my pretty furry boots and my wool jacket. I did my make up in the car before we stopped for gas and coffee. Ian decided he wanted to go caching, even after I said I didn't feel like it. There was squishy snow and I just didn't think it was a good idea to go plowing through the woods in that with the kids (also I was sort of hoping to go shopping)... but he pulled over at a small cache anyway. We'd been there before but had no luck. He wanted to test his new handheld gps. I figured okay, fine. It was just a few hundred yards into the woods and I could snap some pictures while the baby slept.

Dec was the navigator. He was so excited and proud to be able to
carry Daddy's new toy.


No dice. The snow was covering the important areas to search.
And then some genius was all like "I found this multi-cache nearby! Let's go."

That's when it started to go horribly wrong. First of all, we'd never been to this area before and didn't know the terrain. The snow was starting to melt because the temperature was close to 45 degrees. It was slick, mucky and a slight breeze had picked up. There's nothing quite like finding out three miles into the hike that your husband never read the actual description of this 6 mile hiking trail loop cache. Our new puppy Bailey stuck by my side like a trooper for the first few miles. That was when I realized I had no cell phone reception at all. 3 minutes later, my cell phone's battery promptly died from the photo taking.


Remember I said that I didn't want to hike? Especially with the kids in the slippery muck? After the first mile, my feet were completely soaking wet and hindsight, my boots are probably ruined. So, imagine this... you're hiking for miles in soaking wet boots with two kids that have barely any footing on the snow/boulder filled trail (and keep falling and crying), carrying a 25lb baby on your back and a 6lb puppy in your arms (because she was so tired that she couldn't even walk) and leaking breastmilk everywhere because you actually forgot to wear pads... throw in Ian's vague "we're almost there" comments every 15 minutes and I was ready to give up and cry by the 6th mile. As if things couldn't get worse, this was when we found a beaver dam had completely flooded out the orange trail and we had to add on another half a mile to get around it.


And we would have been incredibly lucky had it ended there. But it didn't. We started this around noon... it was getting dark FAST. When you're in the woods, it gets dark even faster. Now I say the sixth mile because we followed almost the ENTIRE orange trail after we were supposed to turn off it onto yellow. Yes, we managed to unintentionally add miles and miles onto our already dismal hike. Considering half of us were just wearing fleece or hoodies, I kept pushing the kids to go as far as possible before stopping for a break. Emergency camping in the woods in the winter with 3 kids was NOT on my agenda. The temperature started dropping with the sun; snots started to freeze on our faces. The poor boys were so tired, cold and sore. They were drenched. The baby was tired of the carrier and desperately needed a diaper change... but I didn't think to bring the diaperbag with us, because I didn't know we were hiking.


I took her diaper off completely because I didn't want her getting diaper rash from sitting in a dirty diaper. I couldn't carry her anymore and had to switch with Ian (and she told him exactly how she felt by peeing on him). When the sun finally disappeared completely, we had barely stumbled out onto a road. Only not the right road; we were still approximately 4 miles from where we had parked. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that we trekked a good 12 miles yesterday. In the cold. Soaking wet. With crying, hungry, frustrated, tired kids.
I. Was. Soooo. Freaking. Angry.

My hips have been bothering me since I birthed our daughter. I haven't been to the chiropractor but I might have to now! Anyways, I felt like my entire body was on fire. Piercing sharp pains shot through my hips and up my lower back. I physically couldn't walk any further when we hit the main road that we had parked on and we still had a half mile to go.

Ian insisted that he'd run to the car, but I was terrified of being left in the dark swamp land (even if it was on the road) with two equally terrified boys. I burst into tears and started hyperventilating. I'm not afraid of much, but my kids were in pain, I was in pain and we were "lost" in total darkness in the cold. How would I be able to defend us?! The wind had picked up and the temperature was continuing to drop and I could tell that the boys just couldn't take anymore. They kept stopping and crying out and begging to be carried. Dec clutched to that handheld gps for dear life because it had a light on it. I felt like such a piece of crap that I couldn't do anything for them. Hearing your children plead with meek voices kills a part of your soul. Amirite?!


And then Ian remembered that we had one headlamp with working batteries in the backpack. We had light for the last quarter mile of the hike; it seems vaguely humorous now. I about collapsed on the road before Ian just didn't care if I was scared anymore. He left us with the headlamp and he ran to the car with the baby in the carrier. The boys and I were pretty much crawling by the time I saw the headlights coming back. I've never been so excited to sit down in my entire life. The boys were passed out before we even pulled out of the state park.

Hindsight, I don't think we did that bad. Not a single one of us was dressed correctly to be hiking all day. We weren't prepared; no food, no water, no extra dry clothing, no extra flashlights. Things I usually keep in the bag for long hikes. I was so mad at Ian. I know he felt like complete crap too. It's not like he'd planned to go hiking, but he was beating himself up for putting me and the kids through that. He went to sleep all depressed last night. I hope he feels better when he gets up. I know my hips are killing me and I can barely walk. The boys haven't even attempted to get out of bed yet and it's close to 11am. Bailey is even still sleeping! Poor pup.

So, moral of the story...
Don't jump the gun. Read the cache description! Pack essentials or an emergency kit.

If nothing else, we learn from our mistakes.
It's more helpful to learn from others' mistakes.
Don't repeat this adventure. It wasn't that fun.
Happy caching guys.

5 comments:

BLOODHOUNDED said...

Shell, Happy Birthday and thanks for contributing! Man, I have had more than one of these types of experiences. Kinda takes guts to admit it and in the end, you think more of your conquest, YOU SURVIVED! and somehow, someway, you all became STRONGER.
Great Post!

Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

Wow, what an intense experience. Second the "read the cache description, and know what you are getting into" before leaving the car ;)

Glad it all worked out, and you could tell the tale.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Happy birthday! Great story and a perfect example of why I usually have way more in my backpack than I think I'll need. You should all be applauded for a job well done. You really did accomplish quite a bit there!

Shell said...

Looking back, it's pretty funny but at the time, it really sucked. By the 8th mile, I was having serious doubts and was pretty ticked that my family (of all damn people) would end up a statistic like those shows on television where you're left scratching your head like "wtf were those idiots thinking?".

BigAl said...

I had a similar experience with some young school kids that maybe I'll tell sometime. Glad you made it out safely. Thanks for the reminder.

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